Sindane’s response is not a response
By Ncedisa Mpemnyama
Mbe Mbhele pens a piece to invite an engagement between the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Black First Land First (BLF). Beautiful one to be precise. In it he implores the EFF to move beyond vile insults which it has made into an ideology rather than its Marxist Leninist Fanonian (MLF) calling. Some of us believe that the EFF has defiled and denigrated its MLF ideological perspective since the time of its December 2014 elective congress where Malema was the Percy Tau, Pitso Mosimane and Ace Ngcobo all at once. More specifically, this was when Malema first mutated EFF’s cardinal pillar number one on expropriation of all land without compensation to the now accepted expropriation of unused land only.
In the piece in question Mbhele speaks of how the engagement between Mngxitama and Malema would illuminate minds, stretch both the BLF and EFF, as well as make vague and grey areas around the land question clearer. In so doing he invites the spirit of bolekaja, which is usually what Nigerian truck drivers shout when they are about to duel. Also, from the perspective of a supposed Leninist movement, debating the leader of BLF ought not to be such a taxing exercise for the leader of the EFF. Didn’t Karl Marx battle at the level of ideas with the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin such that he even worked for Bakunin’s dismissal at the Hague Conference? Equally, was it not Vladimir Lenin and Frantz Fanon who dealt heavy blows to Karl Kautsy and Jean-Paul Satre respectively at the level of revolutionary polemics? The question then is what informs EFF’s reluctance to engage BLF, if it isn’t what Mbele points to as arrogance and/or a lack of ideas on EFF’s part to debunk the accusations that the BLF makes about it as a spent force ideologically. For instance none of its supposed intelligentsia has ever given a satisfactory answer to their evil vaat en sit with the Democratic Alliance (DA) – a union that was supposedly entered into to punish the African National Congress (ANC) or Zuptas or whatever new term they came up with for the ruling party under the former President Jacob Zuma. The haunting reformulation of the question was made in this simple fashion – would a sibling gang up with a person from outside to punish her other sibling instead of correcting the wayward sibling? If the answer is yes, isn’t such a position a violation of values and treachery at a family level? In simple terms, would you gang up with whites to punish other blacks in a perilous situation that still obtains in colonial South Africa (SA)? What ethics drive such a disastrous position, if not opportunism and vile betrayal?
In one instance while driving their sterile obsession with the Guptas – their source of discomfort in the quest for entrenchment of their annexation of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in service to white monopoly capital (WMC) – their perpetually confused and ideologically malnourished Deputy President framed the Guptas as colonizers in a tawdry and flat Daily Maverick article that failed to get off the floor. Even then – as when he made litter out of the EFF’s ideology by changing it constantly on their website to whitewash it – the gijiming fighters, who put action or being on the ground without theory, let that fly and profusely applauded while the ideological infrastructure was being liberalized and defiled before their eyes.
In comes Mbe Mbele, cutting vigorously through the fog and obscurantist kak but a fighter by the name Ntando Sindane replies or rather fakes a reply. Sindane, in what looks like a Mvela player, pushed into a champions league final with overzealous stupidity and makes the same conceptual mistake of childishly misunderstanding what the primary contradiction is and eventually claiming, wrongly so, that the contradiction between the Reds of Rupert and the BLF is primary and irreconcilable. One is left asking oneself a very important question – who is the National Commissar for Political Education in the EFF and does this Commissar deserve that position if fighters such as Sindane can make such a basic, elementary mistake or ideological miscalculation. So this fellow believes that the minor fights between the BLF and EFF supersede those of the EFF and AfriForum. This then explains why the EFF marched hand in hand with Save SA, DA and Afriforum to punish Zuma for what they think is despicable corruption while they remain silent on the white corruption of Absa and Steinhoff.
The point here to remember is that every sellout starts with ideology and through operationalizing this ideology on the ground the sellout makes the masses believe that s/he is pushing the right line. The truth is that in this process the masses are made to toil and toyi toyi in the sun against their best interests. To achieve this deception which gets generalized with time one first has to win over the intellectuals, or those who claim to be them in the party, and eventually the masses will follow. Herein lies the painful aspect of Sindane’s confusion masquerading as a response. It is not a response. It is merely an embarrassing expression of the EFF’s ideological and political confusion and opportunism. This in turn has through the trickle down effect made its way to the EFF’s rank and file. It has also been uncritically internalized and made into a party culture of arrogant philistinism and demagoguery as well as empty sloganeering.
The dangers of this state of affairs can be found in the ANC’s capitulation to racist commies; and the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and Pan Afrikanist Congress of Azania (PAC) being pushed into being proponents of what they refer to as scientific socialism – a position that they still can’t explain very well even to themselves let alone to the masses who need razor sharp ideology to traverse and mobilise against a colonial world that continues to make blacks the skunks of the world.
Lastly, Sindane at an operational level simply lies to evade having to delve into his party’s ideological inadeaquacies. Instead of dealing and wrestling with the issues Mbhele raises in a principled manner, he goes on a tangent and talks nonsense about elections and BLF leaders who left the EFF because they lost contestation for positions in 2014. Like I said earlier, you can’t lose or win a contest if you pulled out before the start of the contest. BLF President, Andile Mngxitama, and Mama Litchfield Tshabalala never lost the contestation. They each declined their nomination. So your over investment on this issue is futile and a waste of energy. You could have read and internalized the 7 cardinal pillars and moved your party forcefully towards observing them in a principled way instead of adding the 8th one which states: Cardinal pillar number 8 – by any means necessary don’t debate or engage with Mngxitama and his BLF nyaope people because they will slaughter you.
The incorrect conceptualization and hence handling of contradictions by the EFF is what makes it see no problem with refusing to debate the leader of a radical black consciousness movement while it meets the Jewish Board of Deputies and debates the representatives of imperialism in London as well as the representatives of WMC who run the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Julius Malema has said that Mngxitama must not be debated but he has not given any rational reason for his decision. This then leaves us with the conclusion that the EFF is scared to debate the BLF!
We know we are good. At least serious Leninists ought to try to strengthen themselves ideologically. And if you fail “begin from the beginning” repeatedly until you get it right, as Lenin implores you to do. Bolekaja, but this time for real!!!
*** Ncedisa Mpemnyama is the Chairperson of BLF Western Cape